Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Feud - Sandy Bridge built-in graphics and Discrete GPUs don't get along

Intel Sandy Bridge processors support internal graphics built right into the chip, but it is only active without discrete graphics. In other words, as soon as a graphics card is plugged into a PCIe slot, the internal GPU is disabled. My question is why? I think it would be great to have a game played and email or music on the second display, where that second display is powered by the lower-powered Sandy Bridge GPU. I think it is an amazing advancement in CPUs to include a GPU on the same die, but limiting it's use to a solitary life style where you are forced to choose one or the other is not the enthusiast way. Let's be realistic: non-enthusiasts will not be purchasing this CPU. The chip offers amazing performance and power saving over it's predecessor (Nehalem), but I guess you can't win them all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

LG Optimus 3D Smart Phone is Coming released an article today discussing the Optimus 3D  smartphone from LG (Gizmodo - LG Optimus 3D ). The specs are pretty impressive for the nerd crowd (me included) out there:
  • 4.3 inch screen
  • Dual cameras for 3D capable 720p video, 3D images, and 2D 1080p video.
  • Dual core 1GHz processor
  • 4 GB of dual channel DDR2 RAM memory
  • 8 GB of Flash memory storage (the article refers to this as straight up "memory", which is incorrect)
  • 1500mAh battery
 My question: How long will the battery actually last? I have an iPhone 4 (fyi - not an Apple fanboy, just a lover of all things tech), it has a 1420mAh battery. I check emails, text regularly, and listen to Pandora/iPod all day at work. I don't have to try hard to make the device last a full day on a single charge. For a device that has twice the processing capability, 8 times more memory, and a battery with only 5.6% more capacity, how long can I even shoot in 3D video mode on the LG? One hour of strenuous use is hardly revolutionary.

Let's not forget about the power hungry 4.3 inch screen. LG/Android better have put some good task management built in, so as not to inadvertently drain the battery on standby (I'm looking at you Evo 4G).

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about this phone. I can't wait to see how it does when released in the coming months, and I think 3D will become standard on hand held devices. The parallax screen technology is perfect for single-viewer applications. I just don't want the portability aspect of smart phones to take a back seat in the car of technology advancement.